As a Sexual Health Specialist and Medical Director for LetsGetChecked, it's easy for me to urge people to screen their sexual health.

For most people however, the sheer thought of getting tested fills them with dread, we are all guilty of finding different ways of burying our heads in the sand or living in denial when it comes to our sexual health, and/or the symptoms that we may be experiencing.

In this article, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about how to test for STDs at home, because I know, that despite a better there being a better conversation around sexual health, there is still a stigma attached to getting screened, and even more so around receiving an STD diagnosis.


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Why Do People Put Off Getting Tested For STDs?


There are an infinite number of reasons that might put people off getting tests for STDs.

Some of the most common reasons that people might put off getting tested include:

1) The inconvenience factor

In today's digital age, we can order everything online from our grocery shop to our Saturday night dates, yet there are still some things that we need to physically show up for, most notably our medical appointments.

2) The time factor

For a lot of people, having to deviate from a busy schedule or take time off work is just something you are not willing to do, especially when you are expecting the appointment to be an inconvenience within your weekly schedule or you are not keen on the idea of meeting with a physician face to face.

3) The awkward factor

We know that whether you have had unprotected sex, received a notification from a previous partner or you are experiencing symptoms of an STD, it can be an anxiety inducing experience. It is not uncommon for patients to feel ashamed or embarassed of their diagnosis, despite the fact that there is a more open conversation around sexual health today, than it ever was.

4) The cost factor

In most cases, getting tested is not cheap. If you are already in a mindset where you don't want to take time out of your schedule, you don't want to sit in a waiting room and/or you don't want to have a face to face conversation about your sexual health, the cost factor will really compound your willingness to get tested, and that is something we understand at LetsGetChecked.


At LetsGetChecked, we really try to raise awareness and educate the public when it comes to sexual health, yet we realize that there are numerous reasons that our current and potential patients may be put off getting tested for STDs or even feeling comfortable in talking about their sexual health.

In times like these, it is so important to remember that you are not alone, 50% of people will receive an STD diagnosis before the age of 25.

Globally, the number of STD cases will continue to rise into 2019.


What Are The First Signs Of An STD?


More commonly than not, there are no "first signs of an STD".

80% of sexually transmitted diseases do not show any symptoms.

In rare cases, where there are STD symptoms present in men or women, you might expect some common symptoms such as:

  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Itching or pain in/on the genitals
  • The presence of lumps or bumps in/on the genitals

Different STDs present with different symptoms however so it is important to know be aware of that.

For your ultimate guide into understanding your symptoms you should read:


what-are-the-first-signs-of-an-std-letsgetchecked-illustration


How Can You Check Yourself For An STD?


You can check yourself for an STD by:

  1. Visiting your physician's office
  2. Attending a sexual health clinic
  3. Taking a sexual health test from the comfort of home

To read more about the differences between these three options, click here.

In this article, we are going to focus on how you can check yourself for an STD from home.

One of our goals at LetsGetChecked is to ensure that our patients have better access to sexual health testing.

We do this by connecting patients to our network of global laboratories, managing the entire process from the delivery of a test to a patient's door to the delivery of results to the patient, via a call with a member of our medical team.

How-It-Works-letsgetchecked-process-illustration

Patients now have the ability to self-collect their sample and test for STDs from home. Patients simply order their tests from our website or have the option to use our pharmacy locator which shows them the nearest pharmacy to them, if they would prefer to pick up their test in-store.

Once patients receive their test, they simply self-collect their sample before mailing it back to the laboratory in the pre-paid label.

Results are available within a week after sending your sample back to the lab. We urge our patients to take their test in the morning on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning to ensure the prompt delivery of results.

Once your results are available, a member of our medical team will call you to advise you on the next steps you should be taking to better your health. Your results are also released onto your online dashboard, ensuring that you have full access to your results 24/7.


How Accurate Is At Home STD Testing?


At home STD tests are as accurate as the provider of at home tests. What I mean by this is, you need to do your research.

Before purchasing any form of a home testing kit, make sure that you check the company's accreditations.

LetsGetChecked uses the same laboratories as doctors ensuring that the sample you provide will receive the exact same treatment as a sample you would have collected in a doctor's office.

The LetsGetChecked sexual health testing options are the same as taking a test at your physician's office, however, the tests require a smaller amount of blood due to the advanced technology used within the testing process.

LetsGetChecked offer STD tests that examine the blood and urine for: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, syphilis, herpes, HIV, hepatitis B, gardnerella (a.k.a. bacterial vaginosis), mycoplasma and ureaplasma.

The LetsGetChecked tests also go further in testing for bacterial infections, which are also known as "emerging STDs", such as mycoplasma, gardnerella and trichomoniasis.

With LetsGetChecked, when it comes to accuracy, there is no difference between taking the STD test at home or taking a test in a doctor's office.

The real difference comes in the fact that you will not need to take the test in a doctor's office.


How To Test For STDs From Home


If you want to test for STDs from home, you will simply need to self-collect a sample and mail it back to the laboratory. The type of sample you take will depend on the type of sexually transmitted disease that you are testing for.

We test for the presence of; chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, gardnerella, mycoplasma, ureaplasma and herpes using a urine sample.

We test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C (C11 only) using a blood sample.

We use a cervical swab to test for the presence of HPV.


Watch the video below to see how easy it is to take your sample from the comfort of home:



The Simple Test


Simple-2-1

The Simple Test measures the two most common sexually transmitted disease in the world. While we recommend a full sexual health screening, this is a good test to take if you are on a budget and/or if a previous partner has specifically notified you that they have chlamydia or gonorrhea. Check out the Simple Test here.

What does it test for?

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

The Basic Test


The Basic Test measures chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. Again, we recommend that you undergo a full sexual health screening, whether it is simply an annual check up or you have concerns. Again, if you have a reason to specifically screen for these three STDs, this test may be a good option for you, especially if you are on a budget. Check out the Basic Test here.

Basic-3_Test

What does it test for?

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis

The Standard Test


standard-5

The LetsGetChecked Standard Test is our most popular test, measuring the most commonly contracted STDs in the world. Check out the Standard Test here.

What does it test for?

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • H.I.V. (I, II, P24 antigen)
  • Syphilis

The Complete Test


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The Complete Test test offers a fully comprehensive overview of your sexual health by measuring common sexually transmitted diseases as well as some lesser known bacterial infections that may still cause an array of negative side effects and symptoms.Check out the Complete Test here

What does it test for?

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • H.I.V. (I, II, P24 antigen)
  • Syphilis
  • Gardnerella Mycoplasma
  • Ureaplasma
  • Herpes Simplex
  • Herpes Simplex 1

At LetsGetChecked , we provide our community with educational material to give people the best chance of being able to recognize and deal with their symptoms. Check out our blog to learn more, if you are reading this article, you might be interested in reading about STD Symptoms In Women and STD Symptoms In Men.

We understand your concerns about sexual health screening, and we know that it can be an incredibly stressful time. Whether you are experiencing symptoms, or you simply want a check up, we are here to help in whatever way we can.

If you have queries around our testing options, you can contact us directly by phone, via live webchat, or you can schedule a call with our medical team who will talk you through the process.

Check out our sexual health testing options. It’s good to know.


Written by Dr. Dominic Rowley | Edited by Hannah Kingston